MOSCOW, November 12 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday invited South Korea to participate in the Vostochny space center project in Russia’s Far East and join shipbuilding and other ventures in the area.
In an interview with South Korea’s KBS television ahead of a visit to Seoul, Putin named “engineering, space, transport machinery and transport infrastructure” among areas where the two countries can work together.
“Now we are building a new launch site in the east of the country just for the purposes of the national economy, for civil purposes. It seems to me that the Republic of Korea could take part in this work as well,” the Russian president said.
“We want to revive the shipbuilding cluster in the Far East. We have been negotiating this for a long time with our South Korean partners. Unfortunately, various reasons have still prevented us from establishing practical work, even though it seemed to be about to start,” he continued.
The Vostochny space center is intended to reduce Russia’s reliance on Baikonour, located in the steppes of southern Kazakhstan and currently leased by Moscow.
The initial launches at Vostochny are slated for 2015, while the entire space center is scheduled for completion by 2020.